But first . . .

Take heart: as of June’s end, 209 Democratic candidates had filed to unseat Congressional Republicans, up from a more typical 45 at this point in the last mid-term cycle.

And if that’s not enough to lift your spirits, here’s one of them — and a two-minute campaign ad that could have the good people of Kentucky voting in a Democrat.  Go, Amy, go!

And now . . .

Eliot Cohen, writing in The Atlantic, sees The Downsides of John Kelly’s Ascension.  “It’s not a signal that the president is preparing to moderate his White House—it’s a signal he’s going to the mattresses.”

A piece worth reading.

Finally, speaking of four-star generals, 56 Retired Generals, Admirals Warn Against Trump’s Transgender Ban.

“This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent, and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy,” the retired officers said in a statement released Tuesday by the Palm Center, which researches issues of gender and sexuality in the military.

“As a result, the proposed ban would degrade readiness even more than the failed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Patriotic transgender Americans who are serving — and who want to serve — must not be dismissed, deprived of medically necessary health care, or forced to compromise their integrity or hide their identity.”

The President cited “the tremendous cost” of transgender troops’ health care as a key reason for his tweeted policy shift (which he had not decided on in consultation with his generals, as he lied).  Yet the added cost to the military health care bill (about $8 million) is in the one-tenth of one percent range.  One-tenth of one percent is “tremendous?”

The Palm Center quotes two former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

General Martin Dempsey said of our transgender troops that, “The service of men and women who volunteer and who meet our standards of service is a blessing, not a burden.”

And Admiral Mike Mullen stated that, “I led our armed forces under the flawed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and saw firsthand the harm to readiness and morale when we fail to treat all service members according to the same standards. Thousands of transgender Americans are currently serving in uniform and there is no reason to single out these brave men and women and deny them the medical care that they require. The military conducted a thorough research process on this issue and concluded that inclusive policy for transgender troops promotes readiness.” Admiral Mullen urged civilian leaders ‘to respect the military’s judgment and not to breach the faith of service members who defend our freedoms.”

Have a great weekend.



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